Dryad Maritime, a UK-based maritime intelligence provider, has just released its Q3 maritime crime figures. The data shows that piracy is continuing across the world at similar levels to its Q2 report, with incidents in Southeast Asia in particular, continuing to rise. While the report is largely concerned with incidents in the commercial shipping industry, the Southeast Asia cruising season for superyachts is about to begin and, as such, it is important that yachts operating in the area are aware of any threat.

The report states that maritime crime across Southeast Asia continues at pace, with a further five hijackings of product tankers in the vicinity of Singapore. In addition, a further eight vessels were boarded while at anchor, taking the total number of similar incidents to 30 so far in 2014, although recent reports indicate that another tanker is currently missing since 3 October, presumed hijacked. By contrast, in 2013, there were just nine incidents in the same period. In Indonesia, however, the number of incidents has fallen from 18 to five: a drop that Dryad Maritime attributes to improved patrols and policy on the Indonesian Maritime Police.

Speaking in reference to superyachts, Mike Edey, head of operations at Dryad Maritime, explained that there is limited evidence to suggest there is a real threat in the area, but still advises caution. “The greatest threat to superyachts in Southeast Asia remains opportunistic theft while underway or at anchor,” he said. “However, all the incidents reported so far this year in Southeast Asia have been attacks on commercial vessels, and not yachts. There is the possibility that a yacht might be targeted but the majority of thefts are of engine parts or ships' stores rather than personal belongings.

“If a yacht is approached then the majority of these crimes can be prevented by being alert and reacting to small craft by sounding alarms and, where possible, manoeuvring the yacht; the majority of thieves will avoid confrontation if spotted. However, if challenged, Dryad advises crew to be compliant and not to provoke violence. Some of these criminals are armed and will resort to violence if challenged.”

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Dryad Maritime Intelligence Service